Start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

McLaren confident sprint races will not “artificially change the pecking order”

2021 F1 season

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McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is confident Formula 1 can devise a sprint race format which will not affect the competition in an artificial way.

The team opposed an earlier attempt to introduce sprint races last year, which included reversed grids. This aspect of the proposal has been dropped from the F1’s latest effort to introduce the extra races on Saturdays. Seidl said that change was key to McLaren supporting the new proposal when it was tabled at last week’s F1 Commission meeting.

A working group has now been tasked with devising final regulations for sprint races. The F1 Commission will then vote on whether to introduce sprint races at three rounds on this year’s calendar.

“We from McLaren’s side were supportive of that discussion,” said Seidl. “[With] the initiative, for us, as we have communicated also last year, it was simply important that when we speak about different race formats that it’s not something that will try to artificially change the pecking order like a reverse grid situation, for example, which is not the case in the discussion we are having at the moment. That’s why we were supportive.”

The working group is due to meet next week. Seidl is confident they will be able to produce acceptable regulations.

“It’s clear it needs now a working group to sort out the details as quickly as possible because the devil is always in the detail,” he said.

“But with a commitment from all teams really supporting this initiative I’m sure that’s something we can overcome quickly. And then, we’re actually looking forward to try something like this this year and then see how we go from there towards the future.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 63 comments on “McLaren confident sprint races will not “artificially change the pecking order””

    1. A good assessment by him.

    2. What concerns me is if they award points then we are basically back to the ‘double points’ situation where some events become more valuable than others

      Doing good… or bad… on a Friday determine your points on and Saturday & in-turn on Sunday

      Sure this is the same for everyone, and thank god they have dropped the reverse grid plan, it I still find this unacceptable

      Especially given the high probability for start line incidents on a Saturday that will again not only be a disaster for Saturday but also carry-over to Sunday where you will automatically be starting at the back of the grid for no fault of your own

      1. @the-edge ”No fault of your own” except that a start line incident can be driver X’s fault if he causes it, in which case, starting at the back for the proper race would be deserved.

        1. Yes, IF the driver who causes it comes off worst, but that isn’t always the case, and rarely start-line incidents only involve the guilty parties, others are often collected along the way

          1. I would much prefer they don’t award points for Saturday’s sprint qualifier, for it is merely a potentially more exciting way to qualify, and they don’t award points in qualifying now, so I see no reason to do that if they change the format and use a sprint race instead of individual time trial laps. The winner of the sprint qualifier wins pole, not points, as usual, the way I’d like to see it.

          2. Yes, exactly. Where in current qualifying it is the individual driver’s performance that gives him the slot on the grid on Sunday, it can in the new qualifying format all of a sudden be another driver’s fault which eliminates a rival (without for example being eliminated himself) and which results in the innocent driver having to start the main race at the back.

            1. As is the case today.
              And not just when hitting another car, but even when causing a yellow or red flag at the wrong moment.

      2. But that happens now in quali too. Yellow flags at the won’t gime, drivers impeding, red flag etc

    3. I think the only sprint race format that will work would be like the WRC – have a one lap sprint race, but make it so that rather than all being on the track at the same time they can go separately and we record their best lap time. They can have a rolling start, and we can give them maybe an hour to do this in, perhaps on a Saturday afternoon…

      1. Brilliant… and they could also split it into 3 sections where the slowest 5 cars are eliminated in the first & second stints

        1. I like it, @the-edge! Possible a little radical for F1, but certainly qualifies for a 70 year tryout.

          1. I’m not sure if teams and drivers would be interested though.
            Points would be over the top and I’m sure they have enough trophy cups already.
            @minnis, @the-edge, @jimmi-cynic.

            Maybe you can excite them with a special prize, something like a miniature tyre.

            1. Let’s roll with that idea, @coldfly. It might be a more prestigious award if F1 would artificially limit the tyre competitors to a single tread… er… maker.

            2. Great idea guys. I think you’re really onto something.

      2. @minnis I’m not sure why you’re referring to WRC, even though rallying is different from circuit-racing in that it’s always only against the clock from point A to point B.

        1. @jerejj my point was specifically that it is always against the clock, with the fastest time winning. No racing, no fighting for position, purely the fastest time wins. And no, it is not always point A to point B (although I admit this is more common), rounds of the WRC often include a couple of smaller “circuit” type special stages, which is more what I was referring to.

          If I have to explain it even further, I was making a joke that the “ideal” sprint race format is identical to the qualifying session we already have.

          1. @minnis Yes, WRC has those so-called super special stages, which are often head-to-head battles, but on an ordinary special stage, a driver only attempts to drive through a specified section from start to finish in the lowest possible time. I’ve followed WRC as long as I’ve F1, both since 2004.

            1. @Jerejj fine, if you’re determined to continue to argue with me, I will say that it’s STILL exactly like that, only the finish also happens to be the start point. It can still be seen as a form of point-to-point.
              Fairly sure you’re now either completely missing the point, in which case no amount of logic will help you out, or you’ve seen my point and arguing for the sake of it. Either way, I have no time for people like you.

            2. @minnis No, I wasn’t trying to argue with you anymore. Merely pointing out how rallying is generally.

            3. @jerejj I never misinterpreted your point.

            4. @minnis I didn’t misinterpret your point but got what you meant. If anything, the other way round.

    4. It won’t change the pecking order, quite the opposite: it will rectify any driver out of position guaranteeing that the starting grid for the GP is already ordered by race pace. A guaranteed snooze fest.

      1. The only guarantee is that you can’t possibly know that and are making a huge assumption to try to support your opposition to the idea. Why is it not just as possible that the usual quali method used on Friday is the ‘snooze fest,’ and it is Saturday’s sprint qualifier for Sunday’s race that upsets the usual pecking order? Answer: because that doesn’t suit your purely speculative narrative.

        1. I don’t want to be negative, but so far I haven’t heard or read anyone give a compelling racing reason why it would improve anything in the competition @robbie, though I can believe it is intended to give broadcasters, maybe the tracks, and of course the audience more on-track car-to-car action to show which does have some merit for future of F1, but if so I’d like if they were more open about that.

          I guess Seidl’s ‘we can find a format that is not offensive’ is a bit in that direction, as usual the man says sensible things, so that’s one thing.

          1. @bosyber There was an article here last week insisting that the only reason they (F1) want this sprint race (of course at first it is to just be a trial over three events) is for the added revenues they can then charge the race promoters for holding a race weekend, as it will be an enhanced product, ie. ‘another race’ for which they can charge.

            I don’t disagree, but I don’t think it is as simple as that. I think that the way in which Liberty wants to grow F1 and keep it profitable and to make more money, which isn’t a crime, is to make it a better product overall, first and foremost, such that yes they can then charge more for their product. But to me they are not just going to start charging more for their product, end of, simply to enhance their bottom line, but rather genuinely want to improve F1 such that there is much more excitement and such that word gets around the world that F1 is way better now, both for the audience and for potential new entrants. Yeah I believe they want to make more money, for what business entity doesn’t, but at least they are willing to earn it by investing in F1, and not just hold out their hands without doing anything for the betterment of the product.

            I think they have already proved, by rallying the teams towards budget caps, better money distribution, and cars able to race more closely, and teams closer to each other, that they seriously want to improve F1 and already have, which will come to fruition as soon as the new cars hit the track next year and the trimmed financials start having an effect. When you say compelling racing reason, and improve the competition, I’m not sure if you mean within this qualifier sprint race, or if you’re questioning if the addition of this race improves anything for Sunday. And that is not what it is about that I can see. It is simply to answer is there a potential better/more exciting way to run a qualifying session that sets the grid for Sunday’s races.

            So I’m not entirely sure if I’m giving you an opinion that satisfies your query, but just to say I don’t think the Saturday qualifier sprint race has anything to do with changing anything for Sunday. It is merely to make for a more exciting way to spend the one hour qualifying session. I genuinely believe them when they say they are not looking to disrupt the DNA of F1, and while that has many definitions to many people I think all they mean is what Seidl has hinted at…he’s game for this as long as the usual pecking order is not artificially messed with such as a reverse grid would do.

            Liberty and Brawn heard the people within and without F1, and have dropped that idea. That should be applauded. They should not be slammed for suggesting it, when they asked, got the answer, and accepted that and moved on. That should diminish peoples’ concerns about them ramming through sprint qualifiers if it turns out that the trial showed it to be unpopular like the reverse grids concept did. Indeed they didn’t even need to test for that on-track for them to have heard the dissension, but from the likes of Seidl it sounds like there isn’t the same dissension for this idea, and in fact some excitement to give it a go in a trial. Sounds to me like he agrees that perhaps qualifying as we know it isn’t as exciting as a qualifying session could be. And I think Liberty has done plenty of hard work to right the ship and deserve this trial.

            1. Phew, sorry about that…good thing I can type fast.

            2. Heh, yeah sort of @robbie, and I know I can also produce some long texts, but this will take either a) some time reading, or worse for you b) me skipping through – so perhaps typing slower and thinking about condensing first might not be bad?

              Anyway, I see what you are saying, and do sort of agree. But none of it really explains how this in particular actually will improve the product for me, and many people that have been watching F1, or for new people.

              Sure, give it a try at a few races this season (trial and error, better than all in on unfinished idea) after some sensible discussions (also a positive attitude change Liberty have brought with it over the last Bernie years, indeed) of merits and complications, but I was just saying my expectations on this one aren’t super high.

            3. @bosyber Fair comment. For me I am absolutely fine if they change nothing, but at the same time I find that the current quali format comes down to just the last few minutes of Q3, perhaps the odd time Q2 as well, on the excitement scale, so I do think something else could be more enthralling, and for those that like the current format, that will still happen on Friday. A few years ago they brought up even just having a fourth Q and I was one of the few that was for that as well, as a I just find there is so much of the hour now spent with drivers sitting in their cars in their garages. Even just a Q4 would alleviate some of that down time.

    5. So I will have to drop watching my favourite session in Formula 1, qualifying, as it takes place on a friday. A day normal people try to generate income by devoting their time and skill to something that most often doesn’t include watching motorsport. I guess I’ll watch the sprint race, and then wait for the news to confirm the sprint race’s result on Sunday.

      1. Head to an antiques/hock shop and pick up a VCR or a sensory deprivation tank until the Saturday replay slot.

    6. If it doesn’t affect things artificially, what is the point of introducing it?
      The cars still won’t be able to follow or overtake each other.
      Apart from having another race start during the weekend, with the accompanying chaos, nothing changes. And therefore it will not add any value to a race weekend whatsoever.

      If you want an event during the weekend that shows the skills of the drivers and only that, organize a kart race with all the drivers in equal material.

    7. I don’t quite understand the point of the end result just gets you back to where you would be through qualifying. I guess I will probably watch so I do understand the point but it still seems a giant waist of time and money for the teams and their already overworked support crew.

      1. @ebchicago The end result of anything does not reveal itself until the event actually takes place and is completed. The point is exactly as they are pondering and may experiment for at three venues this year, that being to see if there is a more exciting way to qualify for Sunday’s race. All Seidl is saying is that now that reverse grids are out of the equation he can get behind the idea of the experiment for there is nothing artificial about the usual quali method moved to Friday followed by a sprint race on Saturday to qualify for Sunday’s race. ‘All’ they will have done if the experiment works, as in is acceptable for the majority, is make Saturday’s qualifying for the race more exciting.

    8. What is the point of it; is it just to try something ‘new’ for the sake of it? Or is it supposed to remedy ‘something’?
      From comments here and elsewhere, it seems most fans are happy with and find the current format of qualifying for the race exciting!
      So why slot in a middle session of a sprint race? Or maybe the question is not ‘why’ but ‘what’; what does F1 gain by adding a sprint race as a qualifier for the main race on Sunday? Maybe there’s a financial / comercial interest we are not aware of ?

      1. is it just to try something ‘new’ for the sake of it?

        Most fans are constantly complaining that cars are not racing full out on Sunday.
        There are many causes, and FOM/FIA are trying to remedy those. But one should never expect a full GP to be run without some strategy and ‘management’.

        One way of giving the fans what they want is to organise a shorter race.
        It’s obvious that this should not replace the GP proper (and change the name to PP), and most fans don’t want to lose the one lap qualifying either.
        Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to give the fans what they want by adding a session in the middle which might create a bit of full out racing whilst still being considered part of the qualifying process.
        And rather than implementing it the Bernie way (like aggregate qualifying), current FOM/FIA will test it first before deciding if it should be implemented.

        But I guess most fans don’t want to see any change at all, especially not to the complaining.

        1. I’d like to complain about the complaining, not a patch on how good/bad it used to be.

    9. Well as Murray Walker used to say in commentary: F1 is IF spelled backwards. You can never truly predict if it will be a snooze fest and sprint races wont guarantee that it will be. Look at last year where we had back to back races on the same track and each one was different. Hamilton walked it and Ferrari had the worst year I have ever had and I’m a Ferrari fan, but I really enjoyed the season as a whole. It’s going to make a superb season of Drive to Survive on Netflix thats for sure.

      I mouthed off in the comments section of other articles about canceling sky and walking away from F1 over reverse grid sprint races but for me this is a happy compromise. Id rather not have it but I wouldn’t mind if we did.

    10. Let’s be honest we know the only reason this is been done is to appease the almighty Sky who seem to have a lot more power over F1 than any broadcaster ever should.

      Virtually everything Croft & the other Sky presenters for heavily during there awful coverage ends up been discussed more seriously & some adopted. They have been heavily pushing for a sprint race for years & even in the face of negative fan reaction from there viewers they kept trying to push the idea down our throats most weekends with David Croft repeatedly insisting reverse grids would be the best idea in the history of F1 & Sky in general trying to frame it like it was a super popular idea.

      Sky ending up with the F1 rights was probably the worst thing to ever happen to F1. Most people can now not watch due to not having the subscription & they are paying F1 so much money that F1 seems to feel the need to give them everything they want.

      I guarantee that the sprint race format will be whatever Sky want it to be. Lets just pay attention to what they say during there coverage & see how much of that gets adopted.

      1. @roger-ayles We get the Sky coverage here in Canada and I simply cannot agree, or at least I personally have never felt like they have tried to keep pushing this idea down our throats. Talk about it, sure. But I think you are overblowing their behaviour, and I think that is simply because you are resisting all kinds of things about F1 that aren’t like it used to be. In terms of Sky having the F1 rights and that being the worst thing to ever happen to F1, all I can say is that once it was Sky doing the coverage which is what we get here, the coverage has never been better nor more thorough. When it was BBC or ITV we didn’t get nearly the coverage we do now, and we just got the basics back then. So whatever Sky is charging TSN here in Canada, it seems they can afford it and we are certainly getting the most complete product we have ever had here.

        1. @robbie Looking at it from a UK perspective I think Sky’s coverage is a step down from the BBC’s in terms of overall quality, Especially considering how much we now have to pay to watch it.

          I rarely bother with the pre/post race content now as much of it is quite dull, Repetitive & the features that seem like they will be cool nearly always end up feeling rushed & underwhelming. The stuff they promote over & over through the weekend as the big must watch feature of the weekend always end’s up falling flat. Things like Brundle driving an old car for instance always end up been 5 minutes of uninformative talking with 15 seconds of track action using a dozen quick cuts that don’t give you time to take anything in. The similar features on ITV & BBC always came across as informative & interesting.

          And in terms of the session coverage. The constant cut aways to split screens & full-screens of things we don’t need to see which add nothing to the coverage are annoying. Especially when during split-screens or even when they are just talking to Ted or someone in the pits they replace the world-feed with a clean feed that removes the timing graphics just as cars are in the middle of qualifying sims where you really want to pay attention to the timing displays.

          If F1TV was available in the UK I’d ditch Sky for that as while i’d still have to listen to Sky’s commentary at least I wouldn’t have to deal with the split screens & would also have the option to turn the commentary off & switch to the pit channel commentary.

          The only thing i’d miss from Sky is the OnBoard-Mix (An FOM Produced/directed OnBoard Feed with telemetry data) which is something FOM don’t include on F1TV for some reason. It’s a feed I love having on a 2nd screen as you can just load it up, Sync it with the main feed & not have to worry about switching around & trying to re-sync the various OnBoard’s yourself.

          1. @stefmeister Fair comment. For me Sky coverage is not something I have to pay extra for as our sports channels are part of our regular satellite package, and ya otherwise I’d have to pay extra to stream.

        2. @Robbie, whilst I recognise that there seems to be more content from Sky than my previous provider here, I don’t agree that they’re not trying to influence things.

          They didn’t “just mention” reverse grid racing. They banged on and on about it for weeks during practice sessions and in the last couple of seasons have increased dramatically their opinionated yabber during practice (even when cars are on the track) to a point where I finally gave up and stopped watching P1, P2 and P3 because of frankly became unwatchable ramblings of Croft and co instead of coverage of cars on track, mechanics solving issues etc.

          As for F1 listening to feedback on reverse grid and then moving on …. how many times did Ross try to get it through? It certainly wasn’t once, so I still have a belief that F1 will do what it want’s when it suits them.

          Fortunately it seems that there’s enough people like Andreas in the mix now that will support reasonable ideas whilst quickly pouring cold water on the ones that really would have no benefit.

          1. @dbradock Fair comment. I can only go by what I personally have felt and that has never been that they were trying to ram anything down our throats and I think if anything I have just taken their talk as a symptom of a racing series that needs rainy days to shake things up, hence the vast changes coming. Wasn’t it BE not Sky who suggested sprinklers? Weren’t reverse grids and other concepts talked about under BE’s watch too?

            I don’t buy into the concept that Sky has so much power that they are influencing decisions F1, FIA, the teams, and the pu makers are making collectively. I don’t think they are sat there saying, but what will Sky think of this? Perhaps if I held a paranoia of that I’d be reading more into their occasional banter about other ways of going about things. Are folks suggesting Sky has a lot to do with the ground effects cars far less dependent on clean air, and on the budget caps, and on the better money distribution? I doubt it, and those are the real and meaty issues that are truly going to make F1 better, that F1 itself has recognized. And Sky will benefit when they no longer have to sit there praying for a rainy day like so many fans do, and they can talk about the enthralling driver vs driver scenarios vs having to fill time while driver is stuck in dirty air, or while driver blasts past other driver drs full open completing yet another pass forgotten the second it was completed.

            1. @Robbie I don’t think it’s about Sky running the agenda, I think it’s more about Sky pushing the agenda of F1, or more particularly of the marketing department. And push it they do, over and over, even when it’s been put to bed.
              I’m sorry you still think that Bernie is solely responsible for all things evil in F1 and that Liberty are charming in on their white horse to save everyone – it’s not that black and white. Reverse grid is one of those. It wasn’t Bernie, it was Liberty that brought this one up, and then set Ross loose pushing it. More than once.

              I’m not particularly concerned about that, what concerns me is that there seems to be a fairly severe restriction on any “official” media outlets (Sky in particular) from saying anything remotely negative about their plans and ideas, even ones that are proved to be unpopular nonsense like reverse grid. Both Keith and Dieter have raised this before – restrictions on media personnel, which was a trick of Bernie’s, but seems to be just as alive and well in the current era.

              I’m happy for ideas to be discussed, but when I’m watching, I like to watch the action, not listen to Croft and co ramble on incessantly like a bunch of sycophants afraid to upset their masters.

            2. @dbradock It was BE’s baby, and as the captain of the ship, yeah, what Liberty inherited was on BE. Overwhelmingly I think that something like reverse grids, which was only brought up as a query about a potentially more exciting way, and has now been scratched, is to me small potatoes compared to yes, what the men and women in white horses came in and immediately affected and indeed have now implemented, which is the massive necessary changes to an entity that had become unsustainable.

              As to, in this case Sky, being ‘afraid to upset their masters’ I don’t see it that way at all. I see them as co-dependents and it would serve neither of them to upset each other. It’s a marriage. Someone has to cover F1 or F1 doesn’t exist. But it wouldn’t make sense for the ones with the rights to cover F1 to be critics at the same time. Of course they are going to try to pump up and promote F1, and of course they are allowed their opinions and those are not always positive, but they are diplomatic when they aren’t.

              As I say I can only go by the fact that I have not been offended in the same way you have, and overall I’m just grateful to have F1, warts and all. Raise my eyebrows once in a while, sure. But overwhelmingly the complexion is clearing up, they should be able to do away with drs soon, and if their biggest crime is sprint quali races unanimously agreed by all inside F1 to at least experiment, that doesn’t take one bit of my gratitude away. I don’t see Sky as sycophants but rather partners, and partners usually try to have each other’s backs. And when such a massive audience is watching, and they have a lot of responsibility to portray F1 in a positive light, as that’s better for everyone, you could even argue they are taking a risk in suggesting something that is unpopular to their audience. But it was not them that brought it up first. But I do think it is part of their job to help F1 suss out what the audience thinks so they can proceed accordingly. I just have really not one bit felt this ‘incessance.’ I think there is every bit the possibility that once there is no longer the ‘need’ to create variance where the cars and teams can’t provide it, and only rain can, the rambling on will greatly diminish and we’ll all, Sky included, be too busy watching the action to even think of silly ways to create what should be created by the drivers on the track finally unencumbered in dirty air.

    11. Another dumb F1 idea. Sprint races??

      You F1 teams don’t get to start a new dumb idea until you get rid of other bad ideas first…. like the Dumb Racing System
      and for most the 2020 season Pirelli Tires.
      Whether desired or not the tires were a troublesome part of Grand Prix racing, race after race.
      How about simpler race event names? Because they are mostly old events revisited they spice it up with some kind modern event name. That’s not that big of deal. In the days of yore its was called the British Grand Prix not the Carrot Salad providers GrandPrix de Modern racing at Rollomount????? Minor complaints too are mine. I just think introducing something so foreign to modern F1 racing such as sprint races. Plus it’s announced and details are still to come. Sorry Keith it’s a dumb they hope will blossom into piles of cash. I guess we all will have to deal with it. Maybe it’ll work. Maybe it won’t. I sure the hell hope F1 won’t take fives seasons to understand before the message gets clear. Sprint races aren’t what F1 was about. Nor should be.

    12. McLaren are right. It will not artificially change the pecking order. For this reason, it is better than reverse grids. But this doesn’t make it a good addition, for reasons that I, and others, have mentioned in the past. 70% of F1 fans on racefans.net (as reliable a poll as any) voted against sprint races.

      #WeSayNoToSprintRaces

    13. Over one lap it’s possible to really hook things up and qualify ahead of some on-paper faster cars or drop a clanger and end up down the grid from where you should be. Over the course of a GP such upsets usually get ironed out, sprints will just mean that happens at an earlier point. On top of that, one would think drivers would be a bit more reluctant to try 50:50 moves and leave the riskier passes for Sunday. Presumably there will have to be some points to incentivise people but unless they re-jig the entire points system won’t that just increase the speed at which the front-runners accumulate points? Speaking as an ardent LH fan, I have no interest in watching Merc waltz off into the distance for even more laps while everyone else takes it easy lest they hurt their starting position for the GP proper. Given the current aero regs, qualifying is often more exiting than the race itself; you get to see the drivers giving it full beans and there is much more scope for unpredictability. I just don’t buy this idea that sprint races would be in any way more exciting or that you can’t know something is a dubious prospect without first trying it.

    14. For me it highlights an issue I think F1 has had for a while now in that many of the things introduced to improve the show over the past 15-20 years have felt more like throwing random things at the wall to see what sticks rather than been well throughout out, Good ideas that actually improve areas that may need improving.

      DRS, High-Deg tyres, Most of the changes to qualifying since 2002, A lot of the aero changes & some of the other restrictions & things were all largely knee jerk reactions that amount to nothing more than a band aid which in reality did nothing to improve the quality of the racing & in some cases had negative consequences that made certain aspects of F1 worse.

      F1 doesn’t need sprint races, It doesn’t need reverse grids or any real change to the qualifying format at all…. It never did. The only change in terms of the on-track product that was ever really needed was cars that can follow closer to hopefully create more opportunities for drivers to try & overtake. You don’t want easy/guaranteed passing, Just a situation that allows for drivers to have a go as it’s that which creates the excitement.

      Sprint races won’t make F1 more competitive, They won’t improve the racing & I honestly don’t think they will end up been that exciting to watch when compared to normal qualifying. They will just be shorter races with the same issues the longer one’s have with the added negative of likely not including the elements such as strategy & management that creates the pace differentials between cars that can actually help make the Grand Prix interesting.

      1. @stefmeister Hard to argue with what you have said here. You make a good case. I would only just say that I think Liberty would agree for the most part too, and I don’t think they think quali needs changing, but that if it can be replaced with something that most decide is better, then why wouldn’t they do that? I think that if this trial goes ahead, and the overall sentiment after that remains similar to the poll here with pretty much 75% against, then I don’t think Liberty would have any trouble going back to weekends as they are. And after all, they do have the massive changes coming for next year too, so it is not like there isn’t a ton of potential for a much better product as it is. And I also think sprint races with the next gen cars might be a far cry from today’s cars which I think you wisely point out would suffer a bit without the ability to have strategy and management add elements for variety.

        1. Lol oops I only meant to italicize the word ‘needs’…

          1. Ahah, fun cause that didn’t get italicized!

    15. While I’m not wholly sold on the the idea of sprint races for setting the grid I’m all for firing bullets before cannonballs. A three race trial should be good enough to assess the viability of the idea.

    16. Friday 1. Practice 1 (focus on one-lap setup)
      Friday 2. One-lap qualifying, the winner counts as ‘fastest qualifier’ in terms of records (historical continuity)
      Saturday 1. Practice 2 (focus on race setup)
      Saturday 2. Two sprint races, 20 minutes each: first in Friday qualifying order, second in reverse order. Results combined to set the grid. Tyres can be changed in the swap over between sprint races.

      With this schema, you get historical continuity with one-lap qualifying, plus two sprint races, including one reverse order. The advantages are that the races aren’t too long, meaning that drivers are pushed to overtake as quickly as possible and/or avoid mistakes because there won’t be much time to rectify errors (an hour is too long in my view, most drivers ‘out of position’ have time to recover). Plus there’s a reverse grid, but its artificiality (or unfairness) is cancelled out by the first sprint race. Effectively drivers are being tested for their overtaking and defence, but without penalizing those who qualified more quickly.

      Chaotic and complicated, yes. But it seems to be what FIA/F1 want or deem necessary.

    17. One thing I don’t quite get….is that if they have sprint races…..won’t they need to take that into account with engine life?

      So they could still be conservative for the sprint race so they last the season, and then be forced to turn them down even more in the “normal” grand prix.

      So we will end up having extra conservative races…..

      1. @mach1 Still details to follow on that but I’m sure they would make allowances for that with the teams. I’m confident the teams would bring this up in their meetings and they’d all sort issues such as you raise out.

        1. How?

          I’m still not sure how. Especially this season….you either use the engine life or you don’t….

          They are not giving them an extra engine…..so I don’t see a way around it other than turn all the cars down to compensate for the extra sprint races.

          You can’t squeeze extra allowance out of an engine with a finite life span which is dependant on use.

          1. @mach1 I’m not sure if they would need to do this for a three weekend trial this season, but perhaps if this were to become the new norm next year and onwards they could be allowed another pu and transmission per year. Something like that. But obviously they’re not going to have an extra sprint race every Saturday and at the same time force them to trundle along, so of course I don’t have the exact answers but I’m confident they will collectively be able to agree a solution such as I suggest above.

            1. They may reason that by eliminating one or two practice sessions in favor or a sprint race there is no reason to add any extra allowance.

    18. Some do better in quali, some are better in race trim. Some drivers are good at doing a lap that is absolutely on the edge all the time, and some are better at making tje most of a tire in the long run. This is one good reason why there are overtaking on sundays.
      If a race, are to set the grid for a race, there will be no cars “out of position”.
      Please, do not fix things that are not wrong!

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